Study Trip Abroad (Year 2)

The details
Art History and Theory
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
05 July 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module comprises a study to the city of Vienna in Austria. The trip will feature a mix of guided and independent visits to a range of museums, key buildings, and other cultural sites. The module will examine the rich and layered history and art-history of this city, and interrogate the relationship between art, culture, politics, geography and religion as played out in and through Vienna itself.

Vienna, the former capital of the Holy Roman Empire from the 15th century and of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until its annexation during WW2, has been a key hub of European culture for centuries. The city has oscillated politically over the centuries between cautious conservatism and bold radicalism, and has thus been a locus of fertile cultural development. It is famous, for example, for having been the birthplace of Brahms, Mahler and Strauss, and gave rise to Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis, the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, the politics of Adolf Hitler and the economic theories of the Austrian School.

The city has a deep art-historical legacy and houses some of the most important collections of art on the continent. Its Kunsthistorischesmusem is one of the principal old-master collections in Europe. Collections dedicated to the work of Austrian artists Gustav Klimt and Egon Scheile complement the infamous Vienna Secession building, and vast modern and contemporary collections showcase the work of the bloody, grotesque and sadomaschistic Vienna Aktionists. The Leichenstein palace houses a key collection of Baroque art, and further museums are dedicated to the city's architectural legacy, including the work of Adolf Loos and Otto Wagner, and its contributions to decorative arts. There is even Europe's only museum of art fakes!

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

1. to experience art and architecture in situ, and to be able to engage in sustained visual analysis of real art objects;
2. to develop a deep and sustained sense of a single city's art, architecture, culture, and politics across time;
3. to learn how to research and write about artworks and buildings in situ;
4. to learn to summarise and re-present key theoretical and historical arguments concisely;
5. to introduce students to specialised debates in past and recent literature around the city visited;
6. to raise student awareness of different methods of approaching the discipline through analysis of chosen texts;
7. to stimulate students to develop skills in written communication through essays and oral communication and debate in museums, galleries and architectural sites;
8. to raise student awareness of different methods of approaching the discipline through analysis of chosen texts.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module the student should have:

1. a sound grasp of the history, art and culture of the city visited;
2. the ability to interpret art in situ based on sound knowledge of the appropriate historical and interpretative contexts;
3. the confidence to subject the artworks seen and texts studied to critical analysis;
4. some experience in textual analysis relevant to works and theoretical debates;
5. an ability to analyse works of art in situ, both with preparation and sight-unseen.

By the end of the module, students should also have acquired a set of transferable skills, and in particular be able to:

1. define the task in which they are engaged and exclude what is irrelevant;
2. seek and organise the most relevant discussions and sources of information;
3. process a large volume of diverse and sometimes conflicting arguments;
4. compare and evaluate different arguments and assess the limitations of their own position or procedure;
5. write and present verbally a succinct and precise account of positions, arguments, and their presuppositions and implications;
6. be sensitive to the positions of others and communicate their own views in ways that are accessible to them;
7. think 'laterally' and creatively (i.e., to explore interesting connections and possibilities, and to present these clearly rather than as vague hunches);
8. maintain intellectual flexibility and revise their own position based on feedback;
9. think critically and constructively.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

2 x 2-hour seminars in the Spring term, then 6 x 2hr visits whilst abroad, plus informal contact.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   3000 Word Research Diary    50% 
Coursework   Essay (3000 Words)    50% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Matt Lodder, email:
Dr Matt Lodder



External examiner

Prof Richard Simon Clay
Newcastle University
Professor of Digital Cultures
Available via Moodle
Of 6 hours, 6 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Art History and Theory

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